Olympics: Cycling

Czech riders takes mountain bike gold

Jaroslav Kulhavy goes for the gold. (Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press)

Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic won the men’s mountain biking gold medal Sunday, holding the lead much of the day and holding off a number of challenges.

Nino Schurter of Switzerland took silver and Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy won the bronze.

American Todd Wells finished 10th and Samuel Schultz 15th.

The men rode seven laps over a three-mile course at Hadleigh Farm, located in Essex on land owned by the Salvation Army.

Gould takes bronze in mountain biking

The mountain bikers cycle through the course. (Frank Franklin II — Associated Press)

American Georgia Gould took the bronze medal in the women’s mountain bike race, missing the silver by 0.06 of a second in her best international finish.

France’s Julie Bresset won the gold medal and Sabine Spitz of Germany took silver.

Gould moved past Spitz into second for part of the race but could not hold off the gold medalist from Beijing. Spitz, 40, also won bronze in Athens and finished ninth in Sydney.

As she neared the finish line, Bresset, 23, smiled and waved at the crowd, knowing she had clinched the gold medal in 1 hour 30.52 seconds. Spitz was 1:02 behind her.

Gould was born in Baltimore and received her degree in psychology from the University of Montana. She also trained as a chef, graduating from the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder. She now lives and trains in Fort Collins, Colo.

Gould was eighth in Beijing and 20th at last year’s world championships.

American Lea Davison finished 11th.

Competitors rode six laps around the course at Hadleigh Farm, located in the Essex countryside on land owned by the Salvation Army.

Pajon, Strombergs win gold in BMX racing

Colombia’s Mariana Pajon (right) leads the pack in the women’s BMX racing. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Colombia’s Mariana Pajon and Maris Strombergs of Latvia won gold in the women’s and men’s BMX competition, respectively.

Pajon, a former world champion who carried the Colombian flag during the Opening Ceremonies, posted a time of 37.706 seconds for her final run, which gave Colombia its first gold medal of the London Games. New Zealand’s Sarah Walker was second in 38.133 and Laura Smulders of the Netherlands won bronze in 38.231.

Strombergs, who won the gold medal in Beijing when BMX racing made its Olympics debut, repeated as champion with a time of 37.576 in the final round. Australia’s Sam Willoughby, the reigning world champion, won silver (37.929) and Colombia’s Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala took bronze (38.251).

Fielders, Herman make BMX semifinals

Connor Fields of the United States leads the pack in BMX. (Matt Rourke — Associated Press)

Americans Connor Fields and David Herman were among 16 riders who advanced to the semifinals in the BMX Thursday.

Fields and Raymond van der  Biezen of the Netherlands had the fewest points – fewer is better – and advanced to the semifinals after three rounds.

There are five quarterfinal heats. Riders receive points for every race. After three runs, the best two riders from each quarterfinal move on to Friday’s semifinals. The remaining riders compete in the final two runs and the best two also advance to the semifinals.

American Nicholas Long did not advance.

Crash-filled start to men’s BMX quarterfinals

Italy’s Manuel de Vecchi (left) goes to the ground as the pack crashes on the berm during men’s BMX quarterfinals. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Quarterfinal races are underway in men’s BMX, and there have been a handful of crashes, much to the delight of those watching at home.

American fourth in men’s BMX seeding run

Connor Fields of the United States was fourth in the men’s seeding run Wednesday at the BMX Track.

Fields’s time was .650 seconds off the lead set by Raymon van der Biezen of the Netherlands (37.779). Frenchman Joris Daudet was second.

Americans Nicholas Long and David Herman were seventh and 15th, respectively.

In the seeding phase, each athlete rides the track once and the results determine the seedings, which ensure the fastest riders don’t meet before the final. The men’s event continues Thursday with five runs of quarterfinal races. Riders receive points for every race.

After three runs, the best two riders from each quarterfinal move on to the semifinals. The remaining riders compete in the final two runs and the best two also advance to the semifinals.

In Friday’s semifinals, riders are divided into two groups and compete in three races. The top four riders from each semifinal group advance to the final, where medals are decided over one run.